Category: Markets

58 posts categorized as "Markets"


Do You Want To Know What Is Going On With The Markets?

Do you want to know what is going on with the markets?  It’s common sense duh. At times, doctors, politicians, professors, and economists make things sound complicated when there are obvious logical answers. My guess is that they need to feel superior because, well, you know…The Fed and many well-known economists are looking too deep…

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September 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy has proven resilient to firming monetary policy so far this year. The Astor Economic Index® (AEI) is at a level consistent with below-average growth but above outright recession. This is consistent with other nowcasts and forecasts of the U.S. economy: Bloomberg consensus for Q3 GDP growth is at 1.4%, down a tad…

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August 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

July was a very interesting month for economic data, with several of the series that we watch closely at Astor pointing in different directions. The Astor Economic Index®, our attempt to summarize these data points, ended the month in below-average growth territory and somewhat softer than the month before. The labor market has been a…

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Latest inflation news and the outlook for the Fed

Astor’s CIO, John Eckstein, and research associate, Nick Porter, deep dive into the latest inflation news and the outlook for the Fed.

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Gauging the U.S. Consumer

Employment has been resilient to inflation, rising rates and slowing growth trends, but for how much longer? Consumer financial situations have been impacted, reducing savings rates and increasing borrowing levels… Factors to help the economy regain its footing may not be helpful for the U.S. consumer in the near term… For context, let’s quickly walk…

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What does the latest payroll report tell us about inflation and the fed?

Astor’s CEO, Rob Stein, and CIO, John Eckstein, discuss the latest payroll report and what it tells us about inflation and the fed.

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Exchange Rate Drivers

Recent Dollar Trends The U.S. dollar is very much in the limelight of late, with the greenback relentlessly climbing against its developed market peers. The euro to dollar exchange rate (EUR/USD) is closely watched as a gauge of global sentiment and is the most heavily traded currency pair in the world. The euro recently touched…

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July 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy is at an interesting crossroad: the labor market is showing continued strength despite weakening output, burgeoning inflation, and an increasingly hawkish Fed. The Astor Economic Index has taken the side of the naysayers, posting consecutive declines for the last 11 months. The index now lies somewhere in the below-average to weak range….

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You Can’t Buy Love and You Can’t Buy An Expansion

As the markets hit that magical percent drawdown number, market experts tell us we are in a bear market. If only they told us sooner… Inflation was not transitory after all, and the Fed needed to react which led to the typical result from raising rates quickly… Again, who could predict that mailing money to…

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June 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index crossed the Rubicon (or perhaps just the Delaware) in May, ending the month just below the 0 line and at a level consistent with (barely) below average economic growth.  Note that the AEI is suggesting that the pace of growth in the US has slowed, but is not yet at a…

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Market Commentary: Super-Hyper Inflation, So What’s the Plan?

Wednesday (5/18) was a day of turmoil in equity markets with the S&P 500 down about 4% as investors sold risk assets for the safety of government bonds. I personally wouldn’t jump into bonds for the long term at this point, but yesterday investors needed to do something and bonds were the easiest choice. Markets…

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Market Commentary: It’s all about the Fed… Still

The markets have had a challenging time the past few weeks, quickly retracing back to the levels of a year ago. Perspective is always important, but the Fed’s perspective is essential!  As I said at the beginning of the year, it’s all about the Fed and how they navigate interest rates.  The Fed got it wrong when…

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April 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index continued its slide in March, consistent with our reading of a cooling but still strong economy. The domestic macroeconomic outlook is at an interesting crossroads, with persistent inflation, negative real wages, and high input costs on one hand, and very strong labor market dynamics, corporate earnings, and solid output growth on…

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Commodity Market Update – Q1 2022

Many of the most visible commodities – energies and grains – appreciated a great deal during the first quarter as shown in the charts below for eight of the more well known commodity contracts.   There are macro factors both boosting and restraining commodity prices: On the bullish for commodities side: Shift in the composition…

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March 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

With the ebbing of the global pandemic, one may have hoped February would mark the beginning of business as usual and a return to focusing on supply chains and other macroeconomic fundamentals. Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine has added another exogenous shock to the system. We’ll delve into the U.S. economic situation below, and touch…

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February 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

January proved an exciting month for macroeconomic data, with some clarity gained on the near-term trajectory of the U.S. economy and the state of inflation. We’ll begin with the Astor Economic Index, which has begun to move down rather precipitously of late. Although the AEI’s movement over the past month might make for a concerning…

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Protected: Astor 2021 Review Call with Rob Stein

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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January 2022 Update on the U.S. Economy

As usual, we’ll be looking at recent economic data this month, but we’ll also expand on some of the themes we’ve seen this year and look ahead to our base case for 2022. It’s worth noting that our portfolio decisions are made by the current state of the U.S. economy, rather than any forecast, but…

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